NEW DELHI: Justice Indira Banerjee, the fifth senior-most judage of the Supreme Court, retired on Friday with the hope that more women would be appointed as judges in the top court in future.
Justice Banerjee, who demitted office after serving for over four years, said that becoming a judge is also a sacrifice.
"I do hope that there will be more women in the future... hope there is cooperation for the weaker, and there be equality and justice in the shortest span of time," said Justice Banerjee.
She added, "Becoming a judge is also a sacrifice in a sense, because apart from being dedicated one always has to keep in mind the principle that justice should not only be done but should manifestly be seen to have been done. Naturally, there are many things a judge has to give up."
Justice Banerjee also recounted her journey in the Supreme Court which started 35 years ago, when she first came to the apex court as a junior from Calcutta High Court. She said it seemed just like the other day when she was sharing the bench with Justice (since retired) Dipak Misra on August 7, 2018.
She expressed her interest in music, books and travelling saying, "I am fond of music, books and travelling and I hope I will get to pursue my hobbies."
She was elevated to a judge of the Calcutta High Court in 2002. In August 2016, she was transferred to the Delhi High Court. She became the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court in April 2017 and in August 2018, she was elevated to the Supreme Court.
Chief Justice of India UU Lalit attending the farewell function organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association for Justice Banerjee said that the Collegium always picks up the best out of a lot of judges.
"At the outset, I must say that the collegium always picks up the best of the lot. 20 years of judicial service, untiring, single-minded, service is a lot. That is the journey sister Banerjee has covered. It's not just what she has covered but how she has covered it. Her contribution has been immense. Even today, people say that the last day in CJI's court is supposed to be ceremonial, and I asked her how many matters should I place and she said the entire board. We are here to say goodbye sister Banerjee, you have done exceedingly well," said CJI.
Justice Banerjee was the eighth woman judge to be appointed to the Supreme Court.
With her retirement, there would be three women judges in the Supreme Court. The retirement of justice Banerjee would bring down the number of serving judges in the top court to 29 against the sanctioned strength of 34 including the CJI.